Securing access to country foods is always an important issue in our community as the availability and abundance of harvestable species fluctuates annually. Country foods such as moose, caribou, berries, and fish are essential for maintaining a healthy diet for members of our community. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, 50% of the households in Jean Marie River obtain 75% or more of their meat from the land (moose, caribou, furbearers, waterfowl, etc.).
With changes to seasonal weather patterns, to the conditions and quality of rivers and lakes, and to permafrost being caused or compounded by climate change; animals are also being directly and indirectly impacted by these changes. Most notably has been the decline of many small mammals common to the area such as beaver, rabbit, muskrat, and porcupines; and the small predators that feed on these animals such as foxes and weasels. Members of JMR have also noticed the decline in the number of migratory birds returning to the JMR area. There have also been increased sightings of animals rarely seen in the area, such as whitetail deer, cougars, crows, magpies, and skunks.